The minimum income requirements for filing a Maryland tax return are the same for all filing categories as the federal minimums.
You need not repeat on the Maryland return the detailed return. Simply transfer the total for each category of income and deduction to the appropriate line on the Maryland tax form.
However, because the Maryland return is accepted without the supporting data, you are required to notify the State Comptroller if the IRS makes any change in your federal return, and to file an amended Maryland return within 90 days if you amend your federal return.
Anyone whose legal domicile was in Maryland on Dec. 31, 1976 (regardless of where he actually resided) or who maintained an actual residence in Maryland for more than six months of the year (regardless of his legal domicile) is considered a resident. A resident must report all income, wherever earned, exactly as entered on the federal return.
Everyone else is a nonresident. A nonresident is required to file a Maryland return if he had income from Maryland sources and files a federal return.
Exception: You need not file if you were a nonresident for the entire year, your Maryland income was solely from wages or salary, no Maryland tax was withheld from your earnings, and your home state imposes a personal income tax and grants a reciprocal exemption to Maryland residents.
Residents of Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District all qualify under this rule. Those who live in Delaware and a number of more distant states (listed in the instruction booklet) do not.
If you moved both your legal and actual residence out of Maryland during 1976, you are taxable as a resident for that part of the year prior to your move.
Similarly, if you moved into the state with the intention of becoming a Maryland resident, you are taxed as a resident for the period following the move.
In either case you must:
File a resident return if you had taxable income during the period of residence in Maryland.
File a nonresident return if you had Maryland taxable income during the nonresident period;
Prorate personal and dependent exemptions by months; and
Eliminate any adjustments to federal income and itemized deductions not applicable to the period covered by each return.
You may use the simplified Form 503 if you meet all of the following tests:
You had total income of $10,000 or less;
You are not required to modify your federal income by any "additions" or "subtractions;"
You do not itemizze deductions;
You are filing a joint Maryland return if you filed a joint federal return;
You are filing a full-year resident return on a calendar year basis; and
You are not claiming a credit either for taxes paid to another state or for Maryland personal property tax.
If you use Form 503, simply transfer your federal income figures to the state form, find your state tax liability from the tax table, and add the appropriate local income tax.
Any resident may elect to use the standard Form 502. The following instructions relate to use of Form 502:
On Form 502, you also start by transferring figures for the various categories of income and the total amount of adjustments to income (sick pay, moving expenses, employee travel expenses) from the federal return to Schedule A.
Then in Schedule C show those "additions" (listed in the instruction booklet) which are excludable from federal income but are taxable in Maryland. The two principal items are:
Interest earned on obligations of state and local governments other than Maryland.
The $100-per-taxpayer dividend exclusion, or as much of it as was taken on the federal return.
Maryland rules differ from federal requirements on the imposition of the minimum tax on high-income taxpayers. If you reported more than $10,000 of tax preference income on your federal return (Form 462), see the Maryland instruction booklet and Form 5021TP for details on reporting.
Schedule D is used to enter "subtractions" - income taxed by the federal government but exempt in Maryland. The most important of these are:
Interest on U.S. government obligations.
Any state tax refund included as income on your federal return.
Pensions received by policemen and firemen for injuries or disabilities incurred in line of duty.
For anyone 65 or over or totally disabled on Dec. 31, 1976: Up to $2,900 of retirement income which was included on your federal return, but reduced by the amount of any Social Security benefits received. Calculate this deduction in the special schedule near the bottom of page 2.
The rules of defining dependents are essentially the same as federal rules except that the gross-income limitation is $500, not $750. Unlike federal rules, Maryland taxpayers are authorized an extra exemption for each dependent who was 65 or older on Dec. 31, 1976.
Each personal or dependent exemption is worth $800 on a Maryland return. However, you must prorate if you are filing a part-year return; you may claim $67 per exemption for each month covered by the return.
If you took the standard deduction on your federal return, you must take the standard deduction in Maryland. The standard deduction is 10 per cent of total Maryland income up to a maximum of $500 per taxpayer.
The 10 per cent and the $500 limit is applied against the income of each taxpayer separately even if you are filing a joint return. (The income from jointly owned property is considered to be divided equally between the owners for this purpose.)
Thus, if you file jointly, both husband and wife had income, and you wish to take the standard deduction, you must complete Columns A and B as well as Column C (totals) in Schedule A to compute the total deduction.
If you itemized deductions on your federal return, you either may itemize or take the standard deduction in Maryland. If you are married and file separate returns, both spouses must go the same way - if one itemizes, the other must itemize also.
To itemize deductions on the Maryland return, copy in Schedule B the total for each category from your federal return. In addition to the federal deductions, Maryland taxpayers may be authorized a deduction (calculated on Form 502-H) for the amortized costs of preserving historical structures.
After adding all itemized deductions, subtract any state or local income taxes that were included in the federal deduction for taxes.
Taxpayers using the short form must use the tax table to find their tax. If you use Form 502, you may use the table if your adjusted gross Maryland income was $10,000 or less, you are filing a full-year return on a calendar-year basis, you do not claim a credit on Form 502-CR for taxes paid, and you do not itemize deductions.
If you do not use the tax table, compute your tax from the tax rate schedule on page 2 of Form 502.
Each taxpayer may contribute $2 to the Maryland Fair Campaign Financing Fund. This is a voluntary contribution, but unlike the federal "designation" you actually must add the $2 to your tax liability if you elect to contribute.
On a joint return, either of you may contribute alone, or you may both contribute for a total addition of $4. More than 76,000 Maryland taxpayers made such contributions to the Fair Campaign Financing Fund on their 1975 returns.
After computing your Maryland tax, add the local (county)" "piggyback" assessment to determine your total tax liability. The local rate is 50 per cent of the state tax except in these counties: Calvert, 20 per cent; Caroline, 40; Queen Anne's, 40; Talbot, 35; and Worcester, 20.
If during 1976 you paid personal property tax to the State of Maryland on personal property used in a trade or business, you may claim credit for the full amount of such tax against your Maryland income tax.
Personal property tax imposed by a county of city does not qualify for this credit but may be claimed as an operating expense of the business, or - if you termize - as a deduction on both the federal and Maryland returns.
The credit is claimed on Form 502-CR, which must be attached to your return along with the receipt from the collecting agency. At the same time you must be attached to your return along with the recceipt from the collecting agency. At the same time, you must include the amount of the property tax in Schedule C as an addition to federal adjusted gross income.
Form 502-CR is also used to claim credit for income taxes paid to another state.You qualify for this credit only if you are a Maryland resident and you cannot claim credit from the other state, as a nonresident, for taxes paid to Maryland on the same income.